17. Latinas and/in Advertisement (Part 1)

November 13
READ: Dávila, Arlene. “Knowledges: Facts and Fictions of a People as a Market” (from Latinos Inc.: The Marketing and Making of People)
Sofia Vergara – Cover Girl Commercial (youtube video)

DISCUSSION: Carolyn Luby & Veronica Perez

Latinas in advertisement (PowerPoint)

Please make sure to refer specifically to the Arlene Dávila’s chapter “Knowledges” in your post where appropriate. Also, please fee free to respond to Carolyn & Veronica’s discussion of the topic. If you want to bring any additional resources, please cite accordingly.


47 Responses to 17. Latinas and/in Advertisement (Part 1)

  1. Stacey Pecor says:

    First of all, I loved this presentation due to the shocking reactions and responses to these advertisements. From the Sofia Vergara commercials for Burger King & Pepsi, to the Eva Longoria ad about the Magnum ice cream the stereotypes of Latina’s is clearly shown through the young women, dancing, oversexualized and sexual behaviors. In the Pepsi ad, Sofia is the center of attention in her flowing low cut blue dress dancing around and keeping her eye on the Pepsi can. It ultimately relates back to the waiter carrying the Pepsi when she states “I’ve been looking for you all night”. Although she is referring to the Pepsi, it is so interesting how of course the ad has to be turned to a sexual reference or desirable way. In comparison to that, the Magnum ice cream ad was very creepy in my opinon with the dark setting and tone. The way that chocolate is depicted is like it’s a porno. Clearly, the ad isn’t just trying to sell this “elite” and high class chocolate ice cream but sex appeal as well.

    In the Cover Girl commercial, it’s showing ageless 3 simple easy cover girl beauty products with her wearing a long flowing white dress. I think this is supposed to represent purity and clean and fresh look. . In contrast, some could view this as very white washed and the concealer is sigh a fair shade. It says how she wants to be “natural” yet wearing the makeup is not natural. The setting is out of the spotlight and outside which is different from the next cover girl ad. I noticed Latina sexuality is more subtly displayed in the background too. The second ad with Ellen is focused on a runway and I thought it was very ironic how Sofia is the younger model wearing this ageless cover up. When the make up is being described, the camera is not focused on Ellen at all. The outfit choice of Ellen and Sofia definitely plays a role because Sofia is wearing a black dress and Ellen is wearing a white suit. In addition, the final note where Ellen makes a joke how they couldn’t even understand her really looks down on Latina’s because it’s almost implying she could only be a pretty face/model.

    In contrast to these cover girl advertisements, I could relate to an advertisement project I did where I created a campaign for positive body image and real beauty. It goes hand and hand with the Dove campaign for real beauty. I think a lot more people respect these ads and this movement for real beauty. I love the fact that women of all different races, sizes and figures are all united standing together to promote real curves and real beauty. These are a much more accurate representation of everyday women we see as opposed to the ad’s with super thin models. Young women are faced with Victoria’s Secret looking models constantly and the pressure to look flawless, young, perfect, extremely thin and the emphasis on applying make up to be beautiful. I think it’s sad that this message is being sent out to young girls how you are not naturally beautiful and that in order to “fit in” and be beautiful you need to resemble these (unrealistic) figures and models we see constantly see in ads & the media.

    • Stacey Pecor says:

      Based on the Cover Girl advertisement we looked at, see how Ellen dressed for Halloween this year: any reactions?

      • Katie Blake says:

        After seeing the Covergirl commercial with Sofia & Ellen yesterday, I thought Ellen was shown as being somewhat rude to Sofia. However, it’s nice to see in the link you provided that it was just an ad and Sofia & Ellen seem to be friends in reality.

      • carolynluby says:

        Wow! I’m glad you found this, this was very interesting. I think here Ellen is using humor to point out the various stereotypes about Sofia Vergara and Latins- she says she “has her melons out” the reality is she does not look “sexy” in this costume, even though she has made herself into the stereotype- long brown hair, padded backside, melons out, the snazzy dress. She looks hilarious and the whole thing looks kind of ridiculous. I think she is sending a message that it is not the parts of the body that make someone beautiful, or the parts of the latina body that are most “glorified” that make a latina beautiful, but how a women or latina looks and feels in their own skin- whether it meets the mainstream ideal of beauty or not.

      • I find this very comical and I think if anyone else besides Ellen would have done this Sofia would have probably got offended, but because it is Ellen who has such a funny personality I could be accepted. However, this goes to show how Sofia is portrayed with the long hair, red lips, and large hips. Something that I noticed when I clicked on this link is that under the picture it says “Va-va-va-voom, Ellen!” The choice of words are interesting and it nots the first time I have heard the words Va-va-va-voom when pertaining to a Latina.

      • briannamartone12 says:

        Clearly in this costume, the curves are what links back to Sophia. Since Sophia seems to be pretty comfortable with her identity and the way she looks I don’t think she would have an issue with Ellen dressing like her. However, this does show how we think as a society of Latinas. We discussed throughout class what really makes a Latina stand out as far as appearance and in Ellen’s costume we see how this can be translated into an identity. What defines a Latina is what we see present in the costume that is worn.

      • Wow i cant believe she dressed like Sofia for halloween this year. After doing our project on Advertisement and seeing ellen and sofias commercial, i think that its funny that ellen is playing off of the typical stereotypes that not only we talked about in our presentation, but also the stereotypes that sofia portrays in modern family and like we said in our presentation some times they are seen in her real life also.

    • I agree with you about how Victoria’s secret wants to show girls and teens that they should look like the models of Victoria secret and they should buy products to be like them. It is sad how people wants to make girls or teens feel that their appearance isn’t good enough to fit in society, so they have to wear alot of make up and give up things that they treasure about their bodies or way of thinking.

      • carolynluby says:

        I think whats interesting here too is the concept of “natural”. The message being sent by companies like Victorias secret that women are not good enough naturally and need to look like supermodels is awful, but it’s interesting how they masquerade many of their advertising campaigns so they seem like they are advocating for “natural”. They have natural boost bras, natural make-up, and all of these things meant to emphasize ones natural beauty- but the reality is if natural beauty is the message they are truly advocating for these companies would not be selling them things like cover up make up! It’s a lot like Sofia Vergara’s first Cover Girl Commercial when she says, “I want to be natural, not naked.” To be natural is to be how you are, and that does not mean to wear make up! Naked is a term for the body without clothes- not for the face without make up.

      • You make a very great point about being natural not naked. We are constantly bombarded with all kinds of advertisements promoting products to improve our looks. This makes me think that we are not good enough and they way we look is not acceptable. Society sets high standards for how a women should look and what is considered sexy or appealing. It disappointing to see how this system works and wether we like it or not its something that might not ever change.

      • I have always found it interesting on how Victoria Secret advertises their models. Especially with the victoria secret fashion show, they show off these models that are look nothing like the average american. People watch shows like this and think that they need to look like this so they put themselves through things to get to this image which is something that they should not have to go through. Society feels like they need to look a certain way in order to be liked, but in reality the people that they strive to be are not what the average person is actually. Victoria secret models average height is 5’10 and weigh no more than 120 pounds. Not everyone looks like that and not everyone should strive to look like that either.

    • sorlyz says:

      Many of the ads we see depict Latinas are very sexualized. In the Pepsi commercial, Sofia Vergara is running after what seems like a man, chasing him through the dance floor, and when she finally reaches her destination she grabs the Diet Pepsi. When she finds the Diet Pepsi she says, “where have you been all my life?” I also thought the Magnum Ice Cream was very sexualized and it was mentioned in class that this ad was meant to be sexualized. I understand that sex sells but must these advertisements use Latinas specifically.

  2. amandaawyong says:

    I really appreciated Carolyn & Veronica’s effort in searching for banned commercials, as these are the ones that we don’t get to see on television.

    During the first part of the presentation today, we talked about how Latinas were often portrayed in advertisements. I felt that many of the adjectives suggested in class can be used to describe advertisements with sex-ed up women in general. I’m starting to think that many companies “sex up” their products with women, and that the phenomenon of “sexy Latina” may not be unique to Latinas. I believe that comparing advertisements that portray a non-Latina and a Latina may help us better understand how Latinas are portrayed differently in advertisements, if they are at all.

    I went through a list of top 10 sexy advertisements, and got the link to the CBS news website: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505183_162-28545982-10391735/top-10-almost-too-sexy-tv-ads/

    Out of the list, only the coke zero advertisement portrayed a Latina. It shows a man taking off a woman’s bra, only to find that her huge bust is fake, and is stuffed with 2 coke zeroes. I found the advertisement really interesting because it goes against the normal stereotypes that we find in Latinas. Latinas are typically shown to be naturally well-endowed, and to show that this well-endowment is fake seems to subvert the norm.

    I believe if the woman in the advertisement is not Latina, the advertisement would not have made its intended impact.

    The advertisement is in Spanish, and being a non-Spanish speaker, I couldn’t understand the words. However, what I got from the advertisement was: girl has fake bust? no worry, there is still coke zero to drink.

    • Katie Blake says:

      I agree with you that women in general are portrayed as sexy in advertising, yet I think the style of how they portray Latinas vs. Caucasians etc is different. I’ve noticed that Latinas are portrayed as dramatic, with emphasized curves, red lips or clothes. I think that advertisers tend to highlight what they believe to be “typical” Latina features.

      • Well every producer wants to show their products in a sexual way like the one with the ice cream commercial, which I think it was too much because it look like a porn commercial which I guess men wants to buy the ice cream for that reason. I guess they put the Latinas to make people see that the product is being showed by a beuatiful, exotic and curvy Latina that makes the commercial go towards men because they are easy to control by women’s beuty.

      • Mariah Monroe says:

        It upsets me that Latinas and Caucasians are portrayed so differently in society. Why must a Latina always look and sound so sexy while a Caucasian woman always looks and sounds so intelligent and knowledgable?

        The media has a double standard. The people in charge, those who decide exactly how Latinas are portrayed in the media, are often the ones that know nothing about the Latino culture or heritage.

    • carolynluby says:

      I think it is interesting to compare non latina women and latina women in advertising. There are certainly similarities and there are certainly differences. The sexualization and eroticization of products is something that can be found throughout advertising (advertising using women) regardless of racial identity, however the way these women are used as tools to add a sexual charge to products is very different. The sexual look of the women is what differs, I agree that the look that is emphasized as sexy for latinas is curvy, voluptuous, and often charged with red lips or red clothes. What is different for Caucasian women, for example, is that the “sexy” look often comes with a look of emaciation (being extremely skinny) and very white characteristics. It is interesting though how these characteristics overlap also- such as latina women being “whitewashed” and some Caucasian women being valued for their curves. All in all the problem here is that women are being seen as sex objects- sex objects that sell objects that are sexy ,

      • Elizabeth Parsons says:

        That’s an interesting point, how “sexy” is defined differently depending on ethnicity. I’m trying to think of Caucasian women who match the Latina depiction of sexy, and the number is small–Christina Hendricks springs immediately to mind, but I’m having trouble thinking of other Caucasian celebrities who fit this mold. The number of Latina women who fit into the Caucasian model is higher, with women such as Zoe Saldana, Gisele Bundchen, Selena Gomez, Cameron Diaz, and Raquel Welch.

        Of course, in advertising, marketing specialist know that sex sells. It’s disturbing to admit, but that is the case, and not just for females. Check out a car ad–any car ad. They emphasize “sexy” aspects of the car, whether it’s projecting a rough, rugged, manly image or a suave, sleek, urbane image. By making their product “sexy,” advertisers make it desirable.

      • Stacey Pecor says:

        Absolutely. The issue is not specifically how Latinas are portrayed, but women as a whole no matter what their racial identity is. Something we have not really mentioned either is how tanning and being darker is often valued of many Caucasian women. On covers of magazines, these white women with headlines about having perfect bronzed skin or a sun-kissed glow is so common. It’s an ironic dynamic that is opposite of whitewashing for Latina women, when Caucasian women are often shown with having tans.

    • I find it very interesting how this commercial plays off of so many stereotypes that we talked about during our presentation.

  3. stephaniegiannoutsos says:

    In the reading, Davila discusses that Hispanics portrayed in the media and advertisements are uniquely different from the general market, and that these Hispanics are seen as a uniform group where everybody is very similar to each other. This uniform group of Hispanics in ads are the stereotypical Hispanics that we have been discussing in class all semester. In addition to how Hispanics are portrayed in advertisements, the Hispanic consumer audience is understood to also be a unified group that all have the same general likes/dislikes. The dominant picture of the Hispanic consumer is something that these marketers pay close attention to.

    I believe that painting this picture of a single Hispanic identity is wrong because it puts all Hispanics into a very strict box. If someone identifies as Hispanic but doesn’t meet these standards of what it means to be Hispanic then this might cause feelings of confusion or identity crisis. Or on the other hand, the single idea portrayed in the media as well as the single idea of a Hispanic consumer can perpetuate many negative stereotypes that aren’t actually true.

    • Yining He says:

      I find this aspect of the reading very true as well, and yet it’s something to be explored why advertisers continue to attend to and perpetuate these stereotypes. Advertisers recognize things that sell, and why is it that negative stereotypical features continue to appeal and sell to audiences? Some of the adverts we watched in class, especially the Walmart one of the Latina lady speaking Spanish and expressing her enthusiasm about the cheap deals, were obviously catered to latino/a women/families. Why do these terrible and sometimes offensive advertisements still work? I think this is something to be explored.

      • Kelvin Li says:

        I honestly do think that these advertisements do work because consumers find these commercials to be very sexy and appealing. They do tend to box all Latinas into the same category but I don’t necessarily think they do it for negativity. I think they market every women but they have Latinas in these certain roles because they have that sex appeal. And again, some commercials are made comical to have their main focus about how true these stereotypes are. I do agree most commercials shown can be negative but how else do you reach out to them? It has to be sexy, they have to play these stereotypes because this is what society thinks. And we are mainly trying to make a joke of these stereotypes. Like the Walmart ad, I think they do that to relate it to certain Latino families because most of them can agree. They wouldn’t necessarily understand it if it came from a different perspective because language barrier plays a part too.

  4. Katie Blake says:

    On page 58 & 59 of the reading, the article discusses how due to the small budget allocated to Hispanic advertising in the 1960’s, in order to convince companies to launch a campaign targeting Hispanics, they had to be convinced that Hispanic people had different personalities and behavior than non-Hispanics. To get corporate America to advertise to Hispanics, advertisers had to be convinced that Hispanics were “colorful and exotic.” I find this interesting because it seems as though that is how many advertisers portray Latinas in their advertisements today as well. Latinas are often portrayed as dramatic and sexy. It’s interesting that advertising agencies have not changed their perception of Latinas after all these years.

    I also appreciated the commercials shown in class yesterday. When I saw the commercial with Ellen & Sofia outside of class, I thought it was funny. But upon closer inspection in class, I thought it was offensive and it seemed as though Ellen was talking down to Sofia. I think that instead of Sofia blatantly speaking gibberish meant to be her “thick accent” made fun of in Modern Family, the advertisers should have instead made a specific, more intelligent joke from Modern Family about English being her second language, such as how in the show Sofia often mispronounces words or common English phrases.

    Something else that I noticed throughout the presentation is how advertisers use Latinas to appeal to their target audience. When appealing to women, advertisers will often use words such as “bold”, “sexy”, or “voluptuous” to describe their products because they think that it will appeal to Latinas. For example, in the first Covergirl commercial, the advertisers emphasize that their mascara will provide “voluptuous” volume, a word that is often used to stereotype Latinas. When advertising to men, Latinas are often shown as sexy and have emphasized curves and maybe a thick “sexy” accent. For example, the Teleflora commercial targeted men by showing an oversexualized Adriana Lima.

    • Yining He says:

      I find your discussion about the categorizing of certain terms or descriptions to be “latina” very interesting. I think that language can be one of the ways in which some groups of people exert their dominance over other groups. It can create distinctions, in-group vs. out-groups, and establish binaries where none have existed before in reality.

      And the fact that the description of the mascara is “voluptuous” and that it matches the portrayal of the latina woman presenting it in the advertisement is very potent. It helps the viewer to match the verbal and visual images, and reinforces the message.

      This might do some harm in terms of reaffirming the stereotypes that are associated with the latina body type, because a link is established in the viewer’s mind and his or her expectations are met in this advertisement. It, however, might cause some cognitive dissonance when this expectation is not fulfilled in reality.

  5. carolynluby says:

    The things that we strove to explore in this presentation were how latinas are sexualized, racialized and stereotyped through advertising and just how extremely those oppressive and detrimental advertising tactics can manifest themselves through advertising. Many people believe that they are not affected by advertisements and the messages they send us about what to buy- or what cultural values to buy in to- but the simple truth is that companies would not be spending millions of dollars on advertising and advertising research if it did not work. So with that in mind, we analyzed many controversial and banned ads to explore just exactly companies are trying to sell. Are they selling the product? Or is it more than that?

    These advertisements are selling a product, but more so than that an ideal about a product. They turn a product into so much more than that- they turn it into an abject of desire such as in the burger king and pepsi commercials, they turn it into a bartering chip such as “if you buy this you will get this___” such as in the teleflora ad, and they turn it into an object that everyone “normal” wants.

    This is accomplished through the use of women and women bodies, in this case latinas, as subjects for advertisements and advertising agencies to continuously manipulate and exploit for the most profit possible. They are objectified and profiled, and put into a dreamworld of advertising where they are the dream women. This ideal of the dream woman- like the sexy curvy wild spicy latina- is one of the cultural values that these advertisements have people buying into.

    It also creates an atmosphere of expectations, or perhaps moreso unmet expectations, These dreamworld women, as advertising constructs them- are not real, in the true sense of the word. But they are so convincing (and advertising has such a profound impact on the subconscious) that many people begin see this fantasy as a reality. This creates expectations, and a disconnect between women and men that are watching these advertisements. To explain this further I will use the example of the teleflora commercial where Adrianna Lima is provocatively getting dressed in lingerie and then says, “Valentines day is simple, give and thy shall receive” This sends male viewers the message of the “female vending machine” as it in cause in feminist discourse, where if one puts enough money into a woman, sex will come out. This is obviously an oppressive expectation, as it restricts the agency of the women to chose to have sex or not but suggesting that a certain amount of money more or less will buy it for you. This can prove very dangerous because it sets a high expectation for men and women and sex, and expectation that women feel the same pressure to fulfill as men feel to desire. When expectations are not met though, such as a woman being bought an expensive gift and choosing not to have sex, disconnect between subjects and even violence can occur. This dynamic of unmet expectations and the disconnect and violence it can create is all a product of the creations of the dreamworld. If only the consequences were just as fictional.

    • Yining He says:

      The ideas of the dreamworld and unmet expectations you mention in this comment and in class are very interesting to consider, as a media/marketing student. The idea of the “female vending machine” is also one I’m familiar with. I’m just wondering about the kind of consequences this dreamworld has on Latina women specifically, and not just women in general.

      One of the consequences, I believe, is the expectations Latinas might have of their own body image. When they see the Latina body type to be curvy and voluptuous, they will measure their own body type to the standard of that seen in the advertisements. This is unhealthy, and terrible not just personally for a Latina, but socially, because she might or might not self-identify to be part of a Latino group depending on her own body type. If she does not possess the same body type as that seen as “Latina”, this might get her to consider how she doesn’t identify as being part of the Latino community.

  6. I believe that women in general are represented as a sex icon when dealing with advertisements. Companies are going to do whatever they can to sell their products and if they have to use a women’s sex appeal to do it, they will. From the information learned in class, Latinas are portrayed as feisty, sexy with big hair and red lips compared to the causation women in advertisements. Latinas are viewed in society as they are seen in commercials which causes then causes stereotypes towards the Latin women.

    The commercials that we saw in class clearly emphasizes how Latinas are portrayed from the Pepsi and Burger King commercial starring Sofia Vergara and the Magnum ice cream commercial starring Eva Longoria. It is obvious that they exaggerate and are oversexualized. In the burger king commercial, Sofia’s body image is the main focus and she makes that salad look good. For example, the way the way her hair flows and the distracting red lips and then at the end all the guys flock to her.

    • It is all a business and i agree with you that companies will do anything to sell their product and make money off of consumers. Using sex appeal is one way to sell their product because they make people feel like they have to look a certain way in order to fit in and they make them feel like by buying their product, they will look like that. On the other hand that is not something that companies should strive to do. From what we learn in class, companies play on these typical stereotypes to sell their products and what they don not know is that they are causing these stereotypes to carry over into what people think of Latinas in the real world.

      • Kelvin Li says:

        I certainly agree because I think most audience members would see it and believe, especially people that aren’t of Latin descent. Let’s face it, most of the target audience that companies attract are non-Latin ethnics. You input this stereotype of what Latin people should look like and do. If companies strive to put out the same typical stereotypes over and over again, people aren’t going to think its true. The Latin community doesn’t agree with the stereotypes being showed but their voices aren’t heard as much. It’s weird because people of any color don’t have much say when it comes to power and politics. Advertisement is definitely politics and who regulates it? Most of the stuff we see are offensive but they aren’t trying to appeal to the people that the stereotypes are being presented off. Are they trying to fix this thought of what they should look like and how they should act? Because I feel it as if it’s more of a driving force that pushes these companies to put out these ads rather than a choice.

      • Stacey Pecor says:

        Exactly, whatever the company needs to do to have their product sold whether it’s too scandalous or not will happen. It would be interesting to see statistics of the product being sold before some of these ads like the Magnum ice cream, and the afterwards. I wonder if there is a spike in how much is consumed after these are shown.

  7. When I was looking at the commercials of Pepsi and Burger King I came across this video. Its pretty interesting and I dont know if its true or not but just thought I would share it with you guys.

    • stephaniegiannoutsos says:

      Thanks for posting this! Although it was obviously made to be a humorous video, I believe that some Americans who have lived in more sheltered communities unexposed to different races and ethnicities definitely have similar beliefs (although not to this extreme). I’m half Colombian and I’ve been asked so many of the same questions that the girl in this video asked. The video is obviously playing up so many Latino stereotypes (and other stereotypes such as the dumb blonde, valley girl as well) but it’s still interesting to see how many of these stereotypes are still believed by many people.

    • briannamartone12 says:

      I think that this clip is obviously meant to be funny. However, I think although it may hold some truth to it, it still is perpetuating stereotypes. It is evident in the way that this girl talks is trying to be the commonly known preppy talk that many think white women have. However, the issues that this video makes me think about is how many of us subliminally have a certain way we might talk when we try to impersonate another identity. If you think about it, many people when they try to impersonate a Spanish accent will move their hands, have more attitude and speak faster. The same applies when targeting white women, there is almost this stupidity sound in the tone which is also an issue in itself. I think that even though her video can bring up some valid points, in the same way she is perpetuating a certain stereotype of white women in the same way she is criticizing these white women to stereotype latinas. I’m not trying to say that what she is saying doesn’t happen, Im sure it does more often than we think. All im trying to do is just bring awareness to the stereotypes within this clip that might have been overlooked.

  8. Stacey Pecor says:

    I know in your presentation we specifically looked at Cover Girl, but it also made me think of cosmetic company Maybelline and it’s slogan “Maybe she’s born with it, Maybe it’s Maybelline” This slogan assumes the fact that a woman can not be naturally beautiful. It puts this pressure on girls that in order to be beautiful you have to wear make up and there is no way you could be born with a natural beauty. The issues on self worth and image in my opinion apply directly to this.
    I found an article that switched the slogan by crossing out the “Maybe” and it reads: “She’s born with it… maybe she should start acting like it.” I thought this was definitely a good pull in the right direction for standing up to positive image and self worth.

    I also thought this was cool to see cosmetic company Olay and it’s “7 signs of aging” These consist of:
    1. Lines and wrinkles
    2. Uneven skin texture
    3. Uneven skin tone
    4. Appearance of pores
    5. Blotches and age spots
    6. Dry skin
    7. Dullness
    To spin off of this list, Catherine Redfern has generated a real list of 7 signs of aging:
    1. Emotional maturity
    2. Wisdom, self-confidence, self-esteem
    3. Owning your own house
    4. Sense of perspective on life
    5. Sexual confidence
    6. Career develops
    7. Financial security

    • I never actually took the time to think about that slogan and what it is saying until you pointed it out! I cant believe it! I would have to agree with you that it does put a pressure on females to be a certain person and not just be naturally beautiful. Maybe she is born with it, born with natural beauty and does not have to wear makeup or maybe it is the makeup brand maybelline that she is using in order to look the way she does. Makeup companies have a way to highlight our flaws and to make us feel like we have to buy their makeup in order to look a certain way.

  9. morgan radin says:

    I know that we used this in my weekly Modern Family presentation on the Halloween episode, but the Saturday Night Live skit of Sofia Vergara and Penelope Cruz doing a Pantene Commercial really shows the stereotypes surrounding Latinas in Advertisements.
    Although this is made to make fun, it really does show the poor intelligence level, over body sexualization, and roles that Latina actresses could get. This humorous spoof shows much more than it may intend about Latinas in the media, and I do not think it should be ignored.

  10. Lucia Parisi says:

    Women are portrayed as sexy in ads because this is what sells. Ads are meant to persuade the audience into buying their product. Before this happens, the ad or commercial must be able to get the target audience’s attention. Therefore, the main picture of the ad needs to over the top because without that, people would walk right pass the ad without noticing it.

    Women in ads are sexualized because this is what men like to see. The exploitation of women usually occurs in beer or car commercials where the target audience are males. This ad catches their attention and makes them buy the product even though it is degrading towards women. White women and hispanic women are portrayed differently in these ads. They’re both sexualized, but the women who look more ethnic are portrayed as even more ethnic because men fantasize about these “exotic” women.

    • morgan radin says:

      I do agree with your point that sex sells. However, there have been a couple of successful of advertisement campaigns that have successfully not sold sex. Some have even promoted women’s body image and made significant strides towards the promotion of positive representation for women. Latinas have often been included in these categories. Most notably the Dove, go fit yogurt, and Special K products do a good job of representing womens bodies without necessarily only selling sex.

  11. After having this discussion and hearing everyone’s ideas as to why advertisements containing Latinas are made the way they are, my prior opinions stayed the same. Just like producing a movie, the main goal is to sell and make money. Similarly, the sexy, promiscuous women that are featured in these commercials such as Eva Longoria in the Magnum ice cream commercial, for example, are used to attract not only men to the product but women as well. The reason that men would want to buy magnum ice cream after seeing this commercial is pretty self-explanatory. For women though, it also attracts them in my opinion because they may aspire to be as sexy as the woman portrayed in the commercial. In addition, the “If Eva Longoria eats it then so should I” mindset definitely exists.

    The article states, “I was told that many would do whatever it took, be it dance on a table or personify the Latino consumer, just to get corporate America to advertise to Hispanics as a differentiated market.” This goes to show the strings that these advertising companies are willing to pull in order to market correctly. Not only are Latina adds made for men and women, but are geared towards Hispanics and other races as well.

    • Yamile Hernandez says:

      I really enjoyed this presentation and appreciate the fact that carolyn and veronica found the banned advertisements. It was interesting to see that in adverstisements, Latinas were one of two characters—either super sexy and dolled up or comic relief, non-English speaking and traditional. Its as if these are the only traits that seem fit for Latinas in advertising. Comic-relief seems to be one of the best—to be fun and funny and spontaneous is to be Latin and I think Davila touches upon that in the article. In order to market the “Hispanic Market” alot of researchers would play up the “Latiness” and be fun, spontaneous, loud, humorous etc. We see it in today’s media too—for example Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria—I understand that she is a comical character who plays up all the stereotypes of Latinas for satire. However I feel like now, with whatever production Sofia Vergara does, shes still being cast as “Gloria”. In the cover girl advertisement, not only did they focus on Sofias “accent” but on Ellen Degenerous speaking over Sofia and making fun of her accent by telling the audience “No one can understand what you say anyway”. Understandably, this is supposed to be a funny commercial but again I feel like it helps perpetuate the stereotype of Latinas having a heavy accent, and just needing to be looked as a beautiful and sexy but not listened to—Its almost like saying oh it doesn’t matter what you say because no one can understand you just stand there and look pretty.

    • Skylar Smith says:

      I completely agree with you on how the main goal is to make money. When something makes money, it will continue to stick around. Body image, sex, etc. will continue to make money and will continue to be present in advertisements. They make the advertisements so that they can appeal to a large group of people. They will use stereotypes to continue to use female bodies as sex objects in order to get their product to sell.

  12. Mariah Monroe says:

    This presentation was very interesting and honestly quite eye-opening. As someone with no Latin heritage, I had seen these commercials on TV and not really thought twice about them. With that said, after this presentation, I couldn’t believe exactly how ‘stereotype-driven’ these commercials really were.

    To think that someone thought it appropriate to sell Magnum ice cream with subliminal sex messages is disgusting. It’s obvious that this ad carries many sexual innuendoes and putting Eva Longoria in the commercial to further sell this ice cream only makes me doubt the true message of this ad even more.

    These ads were very thought out, everything from the Myan theme to the silky body-hugging dress was done purposely to further the undercurrent of sex. Though I realize that advertisers will do anything to sell a product and the “if Eva Longoria eats it then I can too” mentality does resonate with some people, it’s commercials like these that only add to the sexed up Latina stereotype we’ve been discussing all semester.

  13. Kelvin Li says:

    I never took a look at these ads as a whole. I didn’t think they were marketing these advertisements towards Latin people. I do know it is about marketing and they were being very planned out on how they wanted to market. Most of the advertisements, you see the Latina women in the red dress, being sexy and it sells. It sells because you have to make these ads appealing to the eye. We as consumers take on the role of fetishization, where we admire the women. It’s done on purpose to catch our attention. The thing about ads being stereotyped and offensive, we are more likely to remember the advertisement. Even if it had nothing to do with the message. For example, the Teleflora commercial made no sense whatsoever but I still remember it because it caught my eye.

    I do think we live in a world where sex sells. This is what people see. How do companies target an audience and grab their attention? They have to resort to these techniques because people do remember. They may go over the line at point but they are trying to get a reaction from people. Like the Kleenex ad with the mommies. Very offensive but they amped up the stereotypes to make it funny. They however took it down later on but it was very rememberable. I can say the same thing about the billboard ad about beer. Now the beer is cold, just like a Latina. That is very offensive but people remember it. Advertisements is always a risky business because you don’t know who you would offend but you have to reach out to consumers one way. I think advertisement companies don’t want to take the chance on a commercial that doesn’t have stereotypes because of the risk they can lose money. I think they go for the easy gain money whether people like them or not. AT the end of the day, it’s all about the money.

  14. Lindsey Honig says:

    It came as no shock to me after discussing advertising in class that Latinas are overwhelmingly portrayed as sex symbols in advertising. From my overall media experience, I feel as though this is even more obvious in the advertising world than in other areas. The reasoning behind this is probably that advertisements have a limited amount of time to sell you on a message. Also, this message has to stick in your mind for a long amount of time in order for the advertisers’ efforts to be successful. Thus they use any means necessary to do so. The difference between the white mothers and Latina mothers that was pointed out in videos in class was the most striking trend to me. White women, as a part of the majority population, are allowed to be portrayed as “regular” or “average.” However, Latinas are almost always put into another role.

    One of the questions I came away with was how much say do the women in the advertisements have in their depictions? For regular commercial actresses, I would assume they have little to none. However, for celebrities who appear in ads, such as Eva Longoria or Sofia Vergara, they may have a little more say. However, it appears they continue to endorse or at least be passive in the continuance of the image of the sexy Latina. Still, they are individuals, and if they feel the roles they are in are appropriate to them as one person, they have every right to express themselves that way. It remains unclear to me how these stereotypes will be eliminated, but for now it seems that increased literacy of the general population is the best first step.

  15. joserfigueroa says:

    The presentation in class was extremely shocking and reminded me of a documentary series titled, Killing Us Softly, which analyzes the way that women are portrayed in advertisements. Advertisements have made women objects, objects of sex and property. The ad showing Eva Longoria in a sexual manner was disturbing because it equates the product she is marketing (ice cream) to sex. Every day, we are surrounded by ads showing women in sexual manners selling jewelry, pants or even lipstick. It astounds me how our society has sexualized almost every aspect of life and women get the bad end of it. Women are reduced to objects, similar to beer ad with the slogan “Finally, a cold Latina.” Not only does this degrade women, but it continues building upon stereotypes on Latin women. Here is the link to a clip of the documentary, I think anyone interested in how media dehumanizes women should check it out:

    The ad of Sofia Vergara and Ellen DeGeneres was very interesting because of the subtle messages that the ad promoted. In the ad, Vergara is dressed in black with red lipstick while DeGeneres is dressed in all white. Though the ad was comedic, it portrayed the white woman as good and educated compared to the Latina who is dark with an accent. The ad honestly did not need both women but the company seemed to think that DeGeneres would attract a different consumer. It’s interesting how companies strategically differentiate races, gender and people in order to make money.

  16. Stacey Pecor says:

    I’m really glad you posted this! I have seen Killing Us Softly before but not this part. It is such a powerful video. I could not believe the statistics here and how many ads are consumed on a daily basis. It is so true that “advertising is the foundation of the mass media and the primary purpose is to sell the product.” With that, I like how she put the emphasis of reaching the ideal of “absolute flawlessness” which sets women up for failure and being ashamed because it’s actually impossible to reach. The message that is being sent the majority of times is really sad and so unfortunate. For example, “the more you subtract, the more you add” shocked me. That is flat out saying in order to be happy, accepted and perfect, you need to eat less or lose weight and happiness and self fulfillment will be the result.

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